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Guest dougwells

Setting Priorities for Mesh

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I had an earlier question on scenery that folks pointed me to the right answer (setting priorities). Thanks! Now a new question.....1. Should I have my scenery & mesh files in the same folder? I'd like to use the ALWAYS have FSX use highest quality mesh but sometimes want to fly with one scenery or another disabled. If I disable the scenery, will the mesh in that file also be disabled? Ideally, I'd like to keep the mesh on.2. Could someone please share what is meant by a "terrain file". I understand scenery is the "skin" that lies on top of the mesh. Also, the mesh is elevation data that gives details to ground features. 5m mesh means it gives vertical information for each 5 m (correct?). Given the role of scenery and mesh, what is meant by "terrain files". Is this simply the combination of mesh & scenery or is it something else.3. Last one. In FSX Scenery Library, I noticed that I select the folder ABOVE the scenery folder to specify the scenery file locations. If I point FSX Scenery Library to a folder (say folder "A") that has a subfolder for scenery and another subfolder for mesh (also under folder "A"), will FSX still automatically load the highest resolution mesh (even if the high res mesh is in a "lower priority" scenery folder? What happens if I disable the scenery in Scenery Manager? Will the mesh still be recognized?I am AMAZED by the difference a good Mesh file and a good scenery file makes! I have never been one to fly around VFR in FSX (I use it mostly for IFR practice). But with good mesh and good scenery, I have had a great time this weekend flying around Arches National Park and Canyonland National Park in Southern Utah. What a HUGE difference (I'll post some before and after shots later this week). I was amazed.Thanks for your help!

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I had an earlier question on scenery that folks pointed me to the right answer (setting priorities). Thanks! Now a new question.....1. Should I have my scenery & mesh files in the same folder? I'd like to use the ALWAYS have FSX use highest quality mesh but sometimes want to fly with one scenery or another disabled. If I disable the scenery, will the mesh in that file also be disabled? Ideally, I'd like to keep the mesh on.2. Could someone please share what is meant by a "terrain file". I understand scenery is the "skin" that lies on top of the mesh. Also, the mesh is elevation data that gives details to ground features. 5m mesh means it gives vertical information for each 5 m (correct?). Given the role of scenery and mesh, what is meant by "terrain files". Is this simply the combination of mesh & scenery or is it something else.3. Last one. In FSX Scenery Library, I noticed that I select the folder ABOVE the scenery folder to specify the scenery file locations. If I point FSX Scenery Library to a folder (say folder "A") that has a subfolder for scenery and another subfolder for mesh (also under folder "A"), will FSX still automatically load the highest resolution mesh (even if the high res mesh is in a "lower priority" scenery folder? What happens if I disable the scenery in Scenery Manager? Will the mesh still be recognized?I am AMAZED by the difference a good Mesh file and a good scenery file makes! I have never been one to fly around VFR in FSX (I use it mostly for IFR practice). But with good mesh and good scenery, I have had a great time this weekend flying around Arches National Park and Canyonland National Park in Southern Utah. What a HUGE difference (I'll post some before and after shots later this week). I was amazed.Thanks for your help!
I think mesh can be treated the same as the photoscenery in terms of how it is manipulated in the scenery library. There are certain airport correction mesh files that MUST go in the addon scenery folder (or the main FSX/scenery folder) but just the bulk of the 5m mesh can go in any folder you want to create. Just like photoscenery. And make sure the bgl files are in the scenery folder inside the named folder you add. Photoscenery texture bgl files if present go in that folder too next to the scenery folder (in a texture folder). There may be an effects file with photoscenery that goes along with the megascenery. Don't forget to take that along with it.I put each mesh product and photoscenery product in separate folders and activate them separately or together as I see fit, I always keep the 5m mesh turned on though. I have my mesh on the FSX drive and the photoscenery on a separate drive. Just so you know you have a few options on how you want to organize. You need to have the 5m mesh scenery layered at a higher priority than the photoscenery in the scenery library, that's the word from Dean at FS Dreamscapes. That's because the 5m is higher resolution than what is in the photoscenery (10m I think).The bottom line is you don't have to put much if anything in the "addon scenery" folder or clog up your FSX drive with Gb of photoscenery. You can organize things just like a file cabinet and point to it in the scenery library. Look at the file structure after megascenery or FSD photoscenery installs. You'll see the named folder, inside that the scenery and texture folders, and inside those bgl files. Mesh is similar except I don't think there is a texture folder. The effects folder ends up NEXT to the named folder (in the folder ABOVE the scenery and texture folders) but that seems to be the way it works. Just maintain that layout if you move those folders and keep the texture bgl files separate from the scenery bgl files (that one could get tangled up in the process).As for terrain vs scenery I'n not sure. I don't modify my terrain files. But I think terrain is a more specific term for the type of scenery layed over mesh. Don't know.-jk

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Thanks for the reply.- Right now, I have the FSDreamscapes photoscenery and the mesh in the same file. Sounds like I should put the mesh files in a separate folder so I can control it separately in the Scenery Library. Do you agree?- MegasceneryEarth has files put in two folders on their install. 1. Scenery folder * Has files with names like 00300120223Lm10.bgl and a companion file in that same scenery folder such as 00300120223SU10.bgl Note the first 11 digits are the same, with only Lm10 and SU10 being the difference.2. Texture folder* Has files like 003001202230010an.agnQuestion- Are the Lm10 files the mesh?- What are the SU10 and the an.agn files? Are they terrain?Thanks for any help you can lend. BTW, is this type of post OK here are is there another Avsim Forum that I should be posting questions like this at....

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Thanks for the reply.- Right now, I have the FSDreamscapes photoscenery and the mesh in the same file. Sounds like I should put the mesh files in a separate folder so I can control it separately in the Scenery Library. Do you agree?- MegasceneryEarth has files put in two folders on their install. 1. Scenery folder * Has files with names like 00300120223Lm10.bgl and a companion file in that same scenery folder such as 00300120223SU10.bgl Note the first 11 digits are the same, with only Lm10 and SU10 being the difference.2. Texture folder* Has files like 003001202230010an.agnQuestion- Are the Lm10 files the mesh?- What are the SU10 and the an.agn files? Are they terrain?Thanks for any help you can lend. BTW, is this type of post OK here are is there another Avsim Forum that I should be posting questions like this at....
Lm= Light map, these are the night texturesSu=Summer textures, since photoscenery is summer only, you don't have ther other seasonsAgn=autogen

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Lm= Light map, these are the night texturesSu=Summer textures, since photoscenery is summer only, you don't have ther other seasonsAgn=autogen
Aha, mystery solved. Thanks for the guidance on Lm, Su & Agn. Thanks!Anyone have thoughts on me putting the FSDreamscapes mesh files in a separate folder so that I can give it higher priority. In the library, it would look something like...1. FSD Mesh2. MegasceneryEarth Photoscenery3. FSDreamscapes Photoscenery... Other scenery filesMy understanding is that the FSD Mesh at 5 M is very high resolution. Next MegaScenery photos are a tad higher resolution so this would go next and then FS Dreamscapes.PS - I spent a few hours flying Arches National Park in Southern Utah with FSDreamscapes 5m mesh and photoscenery. Wow! It was great.

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Aha, mystery solved. Thanks for the guidance on Lm, Su & Agn. Thanks!Anyone have thoughts on me putting the FSDreamscapes mesh files in a separate folder so that I can give it higher priority. In the library, it would look something like...1. FSD Mesh2. MegasceneryEarth Photoscenery3. FSDreamscapes Photoscenery... Other scenery filesMy understanding is that the FSD Mesh at 5 M is very high resolution. Next MegaScenery photos are a tad higher resolution so this would go next and then FS Dreamscapes.PS - I spent a few hours flying Arches National Park in Southern Utah with FSDreamscapes 5m mesh and photoscenery. Wow! It was great.
Don't confuse mesh and photoscenery, they are two different things.Dean is very active at his Fsdreamscape forums, and that would be the best place to ask questions about his product.

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Think of mesh as the terrain, with the textures, like photo scenery, that lays on top of the terrain.The highest resolution mesh will display in FSX, no matter the layering in the scenery library. Only if you had two mesh products of the same resolution would layering in the scenery library allow you to have one take priority over the other.

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Thanks Meshman,So if I understand correctly, it makes no difference if the 5m mesh is in a scenery file that is a lower priority folder in FSX Scenery Library. FSX "knows" these high resolution mesh are there and will use the highest resolution files. Therefore, there is no reason to pull the mesh files out from the FSDreamscapes Scenery folder. Correct?One more followup.Any reason I should not combine the Megascenery files into one folder for a large area (like for Salt Lake City). Could I put all of the files below in one Megascenery folder (ie, Megascenery Salt Lake)? Any reason not too? Could I still "turn off" autogen in MegaScenery if I do this?Summer filesNight filesautogen files Just seems like it would make coordinating scenery files much easier if there were fewer folders and the folder names were more descriptive then "Utah-001"Best,

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Dean "Hollywood" advised to put the FD Dreamscapes 5m mesh at a higher priority than the megascenery. I had it both ways and I saw that when the mesh was below the photoscenery there would be terrain "popping". With the 5m at higher priority that doesn't happen. Meshman is right and it shouldn't matter if the 5m is the highest resolution but for some reason it does. Mesh and photoscenery are two different things but they MAY be treated similarly in that you can put the mesh anywhere you want (except the airport corrections) and in a "scenery" folder inside the one you point to in the scenery library, just like you do with photoscenery. Mesh can go in the FSX folder or on a completely separate drive if you wish. You just have to put a few certain mesh ADE files in FSX\addon scenery and(or) FSX\scenery folders. Once you get comfortable with how the scenery library works there's a lot of flexibility on how to organize it. I have tons of scenery but I deactivate most of it when I'm not flying in that area because the cost of running all that scenery (Like KJFK and ManhattanX) on the system resources is high. So you should be able to set up things to turn photoscenery, mesh, or whatever other airport scenery packages on and off. Although I do keep the 5m mesh activated at all times. -jk

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Hi guys,Sorry I'm late to this thread, I've been helping some poor people out here today with an emergency...It's about 2am here but I'll get some sleep and come back and hopefully help clear up the questions posted...It should be about 6-8 hours before I'm back online...Regards,Dean.

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Terrain consists of scenery which is defined for specific location on the earth surface. Scenery Objects consists of scenery which is defined independently of any location and then is placed within the earth surface model.Terrain includes bgl files which define surface elevations (mesh and flatten) and a texturing system (land/waterclass tiles, vector terrain, custom (photo) terrain). The texturing system uses a config file, terrain.cfg, which ties the scenery files to specific bitmap textures. In FSX, a new method for custom terrain allows the bitmaps to be included within the bgl files.A special feature of the terrain system is autogen. Autogen is a method of placing scenery objects without having to explicitly position each object. Instead, control files are used which relate the autogen objects to specific terrain textures. For landclass tiles these are annotation files (agn) and for vector terrain it is done within terrain.cfg. In FSX there are a couple of new features: freeway traffic, living world, and thermals. These are generally defined within so-called simprop binary files (spb).Within the terrain system, there are implicit and explicit methods for layering, adding to, and excluding default and/or lower priority terrain. There are so many possible variations it is almost impossible to cite hard and fast rules for any specific addon scenery. Likewise, there can be many side effects which aren't immediately obvious. You just have to try it and see if you like it. By all means, if you like a mesh file but don't necessarily want to use the rest of some scenery, try moving the mesh into its own scenery area. As a general rule, if a higher resolution mesh file exists, the terrain system will preferentially use it, at least in the foreground high LOD draw distance.scott s..

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Hi Doug,Okay I'm catching up after a busy 24 hours...Here's what I recommend for you and a bit of info about how our system is set up...The FS Dreamscapes VFR+ Scenery consists of several elements and there's a format that can be followed:fsd_v_ut_carbon.bglFSD = FS DreamscapesV = VFR Scenery (i.e. daylight photoscenery)UT = State Name i.e. UtahCarbon = County Name i.e. Carbon, Garfield etcTo simplify the products here's what you'd likely see for say Carbon County:fsd_v_ut_carbon.bgl = daylight VFR photoscenery texturefsd_n_ut_carbon.bgl = nightlighting overlay photoscenery texturefsd_m_ut_carbon.bgl = elevation terrain mesh datafsd_a_ut_carbon.bgl = airport elevation mesh blendkslc_ade_fsd.bgl = ADE/AFCAD/AFX Airport layout data (i.e. runways/taxiways)Also when we generate the autogen they'll be "filename".AGNI may change the formatting from fsd_v_ to fsd_d_ on the next pass for the imagery as I'll likely switch the fsd_v_ to be the naming convention for the vector based files such as roads, excludes etc...In reference to your original questions what you'll want to do is grab all the fsd_m_*.bgl files and put them into a separate mesh directory and ensure it's at a higher priority than any other elevation mesh product... Here's why...In FSX the terrain system changed... In each elevation terrain BGL the file contains all levels of detail (LOD) within each file...Say you have a 5m mesh, it means it has LOD's 3 through 15... So embedded in that file are 4.75m, 9.5m, 19m, 38m, 76m models all based off the source 5m data...If you have 5m mesh data at a lower priority than say a 10m mesh product what will happen is that FSX will display LOD 3 through 14 from the 10m mesh product and then when you fly close enough to the LOD 15 tile the 5m mesh will suddenly pop in and display the 5m data...So what you want to do is have your mesh layers with the highest resolution meshes on top, with the lower resolution layers underneath... FSX displays the LOD from the mesh that is the highest priority in the scenery library...Effectively you'll want to ensure your scenery library for mesh products to look like:1m Elevation Mesh2m Elevation Mesh5m Elevation Mesh10m Elevation Mesh19m Elevation Mesh38m Elevation Mesh76m Elevation MeshThe higher resolution source elevation data retains a lot of information when downsampled to lower LOD's such as switchbacks and roads along cliffs, whereas if your source data is low resolution those details are not seen due to the low grade of the data... It's always better to have the highest res data that is dumbed down at the highest priority rather than step up from a low res source to a high res source as you get closer...If I had time I could grab some screenshots to show the comparisons between datasets and how downsampling high res data retains much more information...I'm about to do a write up on how the whole scenery engine in FSX works and how to best optimize for it...If you have any questions please just let me know, it'll help me in writing the article...Regards,Dean.

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Wow, great response Dean. Thank you. I think I have my hands full for now setting everything up but I'm sure more questions will come up.....I spent a few hours with your Utah scenery product and found myself amazed at the difference it made. I was particularly impressed with the color of the scenery. It just seemed to feel "right". I have Megascenery as well for the Salt Lake Area. Mega seemed to be of higher resolution but I found I liked the coloring on your scenery better.Thanks to all,Doug

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Wow, great response Dean. Thank you. I think I have my hands full for now setting everything up but I'm sure more questions will come up.....I spent a few hours with your Utah scenery product and found myself amazed at the difference it made. I was particularly impressed with the color of the scenery. It just seemed to feel "right". I have Megascenery as well for the Salt Lake Area. Mega seemed to be of higher resolution but I found I liked the coloring on your scenery better.Thanks to all,Doug
Hi Doug,I'll reply to you over at our forums as it'll be more appropriate there..Regards,Dean.

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Love to see some screenshot compares of 38m FSX mesh to 5m mesh.I tired some hi res freeware mesh, while it was more detailed,the problem was with FSX rendering... you have to basically land on it to see the differences.At normal flying distances it all looked basically the same?

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